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Using Puppets to Reach and Teach

Who Wrote All Over My Wall?

by Timothy Brown
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Overview/Theme: This play is designed to encourage children to stand strong for God even when it's hard and is taken from Daniel 5. It can be used as a puppet play or drama skit.  Cast—Detective,  Witness, Melzar, and Daniel.

Scene 1: Detective's Office
A voice over of the detective sets the scene.
Good morning! I am detective Eye…Eagle Eye. I've been in the detective business for a lot of years now and have had some pretty strange cases. But none of them comes close to the one I'm going to tell you about; the case of "Who Wrote All Over My Wall?"  For most of my cases, someone comes to me asking for help. This one I got into all on my own. It started one morning as I was reading my paper.

Detective: (Reading) "At the palace last night, a hand appeared out of
        nowhere and wrote a message for King Belshazzar." (Puts paper
        down.) You've got to be kidding. A hand "appeared" out of nowhere.
        I heard about that party. With all the booze those people drank,
        they probably imagined the whole thing. Well, wait a minute; here's
        a picture. The wall definitely has writing on it but someone must
        have written it. Hands just don't appear and write things. I can't
        believe the paper printed this. I don't believe it and am going to
        get to the bottom of it just to prove this paper wrong. Aha! Here's
        my first clue, the name of the servant who brought out special
        bowls and cups for the king to use. (Picks up phone and calls the

Witness: Hello.

Detective:  Good morning. My name is Eye: Eagle Eye. I'm with the
        detective agency, Bird's Eye View, and I'd like to ask you a couple
        of questions about this mysterious writing on the wall.

Witness: Ok, but I don’t know how much help I'll be. I've already told the
        police all I know.

Detective:  Well, you never know about these things. Any information
        you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Witness: Ok, what do you want to know?

Detective:  You were the servant who brought out the special cups and
        bowls for the king to use at the party, right?

Witness: That's right.

Detective:  Where did these items come from?

Witness: They actually were brought here a number of years ago by the
        king's grandfather.

Detective:  And who would that be?

Witness: That was king Nebuchadnezzar. Early in his reign, the king
        attacked the city of Jerusalem and defeated it. They had a
        magnificent temple there with all kinds of items made out of gold
        and silver. The king took them all out of the temple and brought
        them back here to Babylon and kept them stored here.

Detective: He just stored them there and didn't use them?

Witness: That's right. You see, King Nebuchadnezzar learned that the
        Jew's God is the Most High God that rules over the whole earth.
        Those cups and bowls belong to him and his servants, so I think
        Nebuchadnezzar didn't use them out of respect to the Jew's God.

Detective: Well, why did Belshazzar use them then?

Witness: Belshazzar doesn't have the same respect for the Most High
        God as his grandfather did. He made me get those items out so
        they could drink their wine from them.

Detective: I take it you didn't really want to do that?

Witness: No, I didn't. I saw some of the mighty things the Most High
        God did and realized that it's not a good idea to go against him.

Detective: I take it Belshazzar didn't share your feelings?

Witness: No he didn't. And, as if that wasn't enough, he began to praise
        the gods of gold and silver while he was drinking. That's when the
        hand appeared and started writing on the wall.

Detective: Did you actually see the hand writing on the wall.

Witness: Well…no. I had left to get more food and drink for the people.

Detective: Tell me this. Do you believe that a hand just appeared and
        wrote the message?

Witness: Yes I do.

Detective: It couldn't have just been a person and these drunken
        people thought it was just a hand?

Witness: From the king's reaction, I believe it happened just as he said.

Detective: Thank you very much for your help. (Hangs up and picks up the
        paper again.)
I'm not sure if that helped or not. Hmm, let's see…I
        don't see any more clues here. I think I need to go to the actual
        scene if I'm going to solve this.

Voice Over: I was a little surprised at what the witness had to say. I was
        sure he'd tell me this was just a joke. He really believed a hand
        floating in the air did the writing. I called the palace and got
        permission to go over and examine the wall myself. There was
        something inside me, driving me to find the answer. I knew
        whatever it was; the answer was at the palace. I figured once I
        got there, I'd find someone who saw the person do the writing.

Scene 2: The Palace
Detective:  Now, let's see. There's definitely writing on this wall. It's
        hard to make out what was used. I don't see any sign of ink or
        pencil lead. The height of the words is right for a person to do it.
        The floor is carpeted, so there won't be any footprints to help.

Melzar:      Good morning. You must be Detective Eye.

Detective:  That's right. I'm Detective Eye: Eagle Eye from the Bird's
        Eye View Detective Agency.

Melzar:     Well, how can I be of help to you detective?

Detective:  I'm here to solve the mystery of the hand that wrote on the

Melzar:    What mystery? I read the paper this morning and they had the
        story correct.  

Detective:  Are you trying to tell me that at a party where lots of people
        are drinking like they were last night that you believe a hand just
        appeared and began writing?

Melzar:    That is correct detective.

Detective:  Did you actually see the hand that wrote on the wall?

Melzar:    Well…no. You see, the chef made one of my favorite snacks for
        this banquet. I saw someone go by with several on a plate and
        decided to get some. I went to the banquet table and when I
        returned, the writing was on the wall and the king was trembling
        with fear.

Detective:  So what did you do?

Melzar:    I went in and asked the other counselors what had happened.

Detective:  What did they say?

Melzar:  They were shaken up themselves and told me the hand
        appeared and began writing. Then the king said, "Whoever reads
        this writing and tells me what it means shall be clothed in purple,
        have a golden chain placed around his neck, and shall become the
        third ruler in the kingdom.

Detective:  So what did you do?

Melzar:    I tried to figure out what it meant?

Detective:  Were you successful?

Melzar:    No. I couldn't figure it out. Now that I think of it, I haven't
        had much luck in figuring any of these things out that have to do
        with Daniel's God.

Detective:  So you think this had something to do with the God that
        Daniel serves?

Melzar:    Oh, there's no doubt about it in my mind. After all, it was his
        cups they were drinking from while praising the gods of gold and
        silver. I don't think Daniel's God was pleased with that.

Detective:  What happened next?

Melzar:    Well, the king was troubled because no one could figure out
        the writing. Then the queen came in and told him not to be
        troubled because there was a man in his kingdom who could tell
        him the meaning. She said this man was one in whom was the spirit
        of the Holy God.

Detective:  So I take it that this Daniel was brought in? Could I talk with
        him, please?

Melzar:    I will get him for you.

(Melzar leaves. The detective goes back to inspecting the wall.)

Daniel:    I understand you would like to talk with me?

Detective:  That's right. My name is Eye: Eagle Eye from the Bird's Eye
        View Detective Agency. I'm here to try to figure out how this writing
        got here.

Daniel:    You haven't been told? Didn't you read about it this morning?

Detective:  Well, yeah…But I'm here to find out what really happened.

Daniel:    It happened just like you've heard.

Detective:  Ok, let's start from where you were called in. I take it that
        you weren't at this banquet.

Daniel:    No. I wasn't invited and would not have come even if I were.

Detective:  What happened when you arrived on the scene?

Daniel:    The king made me some kind of offer if I would tell him what
        the writing meant. I told him to keep his gifts, but would answer
        his questions anyway. Before I did, though, I reminded him how
        his grandfather, Nebuchadnezzar, had been a proud king at one
        point, but went insane for seven years because of it. He didn't get
        his sanity back until he knew the Most High God is the ruler of all.
        Belshazzar knew all of that, but refused to humble himself before
        that Most High God. In fact he lifted himself up before God and
        dared desecrate the cups and bowls that belong to him. He used
        the very air that God let him breathe to praise the gods of gold
        and silver. God wrote him a message in a way that got his attention.
        Here is what the writing means: Mene – means that God has
        numbered his kingdom and has ended it. It is repeated for
        emphasis. It is going to happen. Tekel – Belshazzar has been
        weighed in the scales and found wanting. Because of his sin, he
        had to be judged. Upharsin – his kingdom has been divided and has
        been given to the Medes and Persians.

Detective:  Well, thank you very much. I think I've heard enough.

Voice Over:  As I headed back to the office, I tried to sort everything out I
        had heard. I started this investigation thinking this was all a hoax;
        that it couldn't be an act of God. I didn't really believe that the God
        Daniel talked about really existed. Now, I wasn't so sure, but knew
        I was close to solving this whole problem. I just needed to sit down
        and work it out.

Scene 3: The Detective's Office

Detective:  Now, let me list all the facts and see what really happened.
        First, there are the cups and things taken from the temple of the
        Most High God. This is the same God that is said to have acted in
        some pretty amazing ways when Nebuchadnezzar was king.
        Second, there is the drunken party where the king starts drinking
        out of these cups and praising gods of gold and silver. Hmm. I
        guess if I was God, I wouldn't be too happy about that myself.
        Third, there is the servant. He didn't see what happened, but had
        a compelling testimony. The counselor didn't actually see the hand
        writing, but his description of the reaction of the king and others
        indicates that something unusual happened. And finally, there is
        the testimony of Daniel. Wait a minute. This story sounds vaguely
        familiar. (Points to a Bible.) Yes, here it is right here. I had the truth
        in front of me all along. It really was the hand of God.

Voice Over:  There you have it. I had to face the facts. The story was true. The other reason I know it was true is because of what happened to King Belshazzar. The very night the hand wrote on the wall, the Medes and Persians attacked the city and only one person was killed…the king. He was tempted to get drunk and show off in front of all his counselors and friends. He was tempted to be proud and he made no effort to resist those temptations. He paid for it in the end. But Daniel, on the other hand, was also tempted to take expensive gifts from the king. He had no problem saying no to the temptation. Why? Because Daniel walked with God. He spent time with God every day, reading his word and talking with him. God gave him the strength to say no to the temptation he faced. If you know Jesus as your Savior from sin, God will help you to say no to temptation as well. When you are tempted to do something wrong, ask God for his help and he will give you the strength you need right away. For that to happen, though, you need to spend time with him every day. Maybe you are like me, someone who didn't really believe in the Lord Jesus. Once I finished this case, the first thing I did was to confess my sins to God and ask him to be my forever friend. If you've never done that and would like to, talk to one of the leaders before you leave today. Well, I've got more cases to look into. This is Eye: Eagle Eye of the Bird's Eye View Detective Agency saying so long. If you ever have a case that needs solving, just give me a ring and I'd be glad to help…for a fee!

Copyright © 2004 - Revised 2011 - by Timothy Brown • www.ExperiencePuppets.com • You may reproduce this script as needed

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